Must-Read Money Stories for Thursday, Jan. 12

by January 12, 2017
More home contracts are falling through before the deal gets to "sold." (image via American Advisors Group on flickr, CC by-SA 2.0)

More home contracts are falling through before the deal gets to “sold.” (Image via American Advisors Group on flickr, CC by-SA 2.0)

Trump, Trump, Trump

As usual, there’s plenty of Trump news. Yesterday he held an extended press conference to lay out his plan for how to separate himself from his business interests while president. The Washington Post notes Trump’s plans fall short of what government ethics officials have advised him to do. They also fall short of what some of Trump’s wealthy cabinet picks have announced. Speaking of those picks, it was a long day of testimony from former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. PBS published an AP Fact Check on one aspect of that testimony: Tillerson’s claim that Exxon didn’t lobby to limit sanctions on Russia.

Housing sales fails

There’s a growing number of “failed sales” in the U.S. housing market, according to Bloomberg. A home sale is put in that category when a sale is listed as pending, but then drops back into the “for sale” category. Bloomberg says it’s not clear exactly why a growing percentage of home sales are falling through, but there are three top possibilities: the potential buyer’s mortgage application is rejected, the appraiser says the home isn’t worth the sale price or the home inspection turns up something nasty.

Wondering about wages

How do increases in the minimum wage actually affect the economy? The LA Times reports after decades of minimum wage policies and plenty of studies, economists still don’t really know the answer to that question. But there are two new studies out, which look at some of the more recent minimum wage increases in California and Washington. No real answers, but at least  more numbers.

Volkswagen settles

Volkswagen will submit to outside oversight for three years and pay a $4.3 billion fine over its diesel emissions cheating scandal. Reuters reports the details are part of a settlement with U.S. regulators. As part of the deal, Volkswagen will also plead guilty to three felonies, according to Reuters.

House Sold” by American Advisors Group on flickr, CC by-SA 2.0.